The growing seasons (spring and summer) are the ideal times to report fiddle leaf figs. As fiddle leaf figs dislike change, and prefer a consistent environment, frequent repotting or at the wrong time can shock the plant and make it feel uneasy.
Because of this, it’s crucial to know when and how to repot your fiddle leaf fig as well as how to lessen the effects of shock.
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Why Repotting Fiddle Leaf Figs Is Necessary
Although repotting may appear to be just another maintenance chore to cross off your list, it is crucial to the health and future development of your plant. This is particularly true for fiddle leaf figs, which frequently need more space and quickly outgrow their pots (or those that have recently been propagated).
There are many reasons why repotting is necessary, but these three are the most important:
In-pot growth is not how plants are intended to function. Over time, roots continue to expand and grow to support the growth of the plant. There is nowhere else for them to go once they have filled up a pot to capacity.
If a fiddle leaf fig is root bound, the roots will be growing through the drainage holes or encircling the base of the pot. The plant will eventually come to a complete stop growing.
Your tree will experience the growth spurt it needs to reach its full potential after repotting.
As roots fill up more and more space in the soil and consume all the nutrients, the quality of the soil starts to deteriorate. Incapable of retaining enough moisture or nutrients to feed the plant or keep the roots in place, the structure gradually disintegrates.
Since Fiddle Leaf Figs require frequent repotting, poor soil quality is rarely a justification for doing so because it takes several years for the soil to degrade. Your tree will eventually require a soil refreshment, though, if you’ve kept it in the same pot for a while.
Pests & Diseases
Repotting is not typically an urgent task, but it might be if there are pest or disease issues.
Numerous soil-borne pests and diseases lurk near the roots of your plant, wreaking havoc. Repotting is the simplest and fastest way to get rid of them from the ground. Additionally, pay attention to the local climate, particularly the humidity and temperature, where you’ll be planting your fiddle leaf fig.
When To Repot A Fiddle Leaf Fig
When they are root-bound, fiddle leaf figs only require a larger pot. In general, these plants enjoy a snug fit in their containers. Therefore, you should only repot a plant once you notice roots encircling the pot’s outer edge, masses of roots visible on the surface, or roots protruding from the pot’s bottom.
Holding onto the plant’s base or trunk, you can check this by gently wiggling and lifting the plant out of the pot. The plant should come out of the pot fairly easily, and you can count the roots you can see to determine whether or not they are root-bound (many roots running horizontally around the pot).
Repotting your plant with new soil every two to three years is a good idea, even if it isn’t root-bound. This will make it possible for the plant to absorb new nutrients from the new soil. Simply use the same pot rather than increasing the pot size to accomplish this.
Before replanting with fresh soil, the goal is to gently break up the soil and shake as much old soil off the roots as you can.
How Can You Tell When A Fiddle Leaf Fig Needs To Be Repotted?
A fiddle-leaf fig plant should only be repotted when it outgrows its current container. You should only repot this plant if it becomes root-bound and needs more space for its roots to spread out and grow because it prefers to be quite snug.
Some signs your fiddle leaf fig is root bound and has outgrown its pot include:
- when soil is exposed to the roots. If the roots of your fiddle leaf fig are showing on the surface of the soil, especially if they are growing in a circle inside the rim of the pot, it is a sign that your fiddle leaf fig is root-bound. Around the plant’s base, you might also see thick, lumpy roots.
- when roots poke through the pot’s base. Your fiddle leaf fig’s roots become restricted when it is root bound. That implies that they might begin to emerge through the drainage holes in the pot’s base. Your fiddle leaf fig is root bound and requires repotting if roots are visible coming through the bottom of the pot.
- when the soil is compacted. A further indication that the roots of your fiddle leaf fig are occupying more space in the soil than they should be is dry, compacted soil that pulls away from the sides of the plant pot. This indicates that the roots quickly absorb moisture from the soil, causing the soil to dry out too quickly. The health of your plant is compromised by compacted or extremely dry soil because it is unable to receive the nutrients and moisture it requires to thrive.
- if it has stunted growth. Your plant won’t be able to supply the nutrients it requires to thrive if the roots overgrow and fill the pot to capacity. It may be rootbound if your otherwise thriving fiddle leaf fig suddenly starts to grow slowly or stuntedly. However, when your fiddle leaf fig rests after an active growing season in the summer, slowed growth is typical in the fall and winter.
How Often Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Need Repotting?
When grown outdoors, fiddle leaf figs can reach heights of more than 40 feet. Your tree will need frequent repotting (and pruning) until it reaches its full size if you want it to grow to its full potential. Young plants tend to grow much more quickly than mature ones, quickly outgrowing their pots. Repotting should be done every year in this situation. This allows your Fiddle Leaf more room to grow and prevents growth stunting from a lack of space. According to the environmental conditions and growth rate, repotting mature plants every one to two years is suitable. While they will welcome more room in their pots, they dislike environmental changes and frequently experience shock when repotted. It’s better to wait until they truly require it rather than repotting older plants yearly. More growth is not the objective for fully developed Fiddle Leaf Figs that are nearly touching the roof; rather, growth must be controlled. You can continue to grow the plant in the same pot in this situation. To replace the soil in the container and maintain the health of your tree, you will still need to repot every three to four years.
Why Is My Fiddle Leaf Drooping After Being Replanted?
After repotting, it’s typical for your fiddle leaf fig to have drooping leaves. This is because fiddle leaf figs are susceptible to shock when they undergo change, and they frequently respond to stress with the transplant or root shock. This may cause drooping leaves, some of which may even turn yellow and fall off the plant, though this is only transient.
Note: If your plant suffered from severe leaf drop to the point where you are left with a fiddle leaf fig that has no leaves, read our article on the subject to make sure the issue is resolved right away.
For the plant, repotting is a significant change. Practically speaking, this indicates that your plant does not enjoy having its roots disturbed and will respond by producing drooping leaves. But don’t worry; once it has a few weeks to acclimate to its new pot, it will quickly recover.
How Should A Fiddle Leaf Fig Be Cared For After Repotting?
To lessen the effects of root shock on your fiddle leaf fig, you can take a number of different actions.
1. Supply Adequate Drainage
Dropping leaves and stress on your plant can both be a result of poor drainage in the soil. To allow extra water from the soil to drain from the pot, make sure it has drainage holes.
The new soil’s ability to drain effectively is also critical. To repot your fiddle leaf fig, always use high-quality soil. For advice on what to use, refer to our suggestions for the best soil for your fiddle leaf fig.
2. Place Your Fiddle Leaf Fig In Its Normal Location
Moving your fiddle leaf fig to a new spot right now is not a good idea. To ensure that it receives the same amount of light and humidity as where it has been growing, keep it in the same location.
Your fiddle leaf fig won’t benefit from being moved to a new location after being replanted. Wait a month or two after repotting your plant if you want to relocate it so that it has enough time to recover.
3. Remove Dead Leaves From The Plant
If the drooping leaves on your fiddle leaf fig turn yellow and die, as they occasionally will, taking them off the plant will aid in its recovery. As a result, the plant is encouraged to invest energy in developing strong, new growth.
How To Repot A Fiddle Leaf Fig With Root Rot
Plants that suffer from root rot lose their life force and develop mushy roots. It is brought on by fungi, which prefer moist or squishy soil. Your fiddle leaf fig will contract this disease, and as a result, the plant’s life will be in danger as the roots start to rot and turn to mush.
Root rot can be stopped in its tracks if discovered early, but you must remove the contaminated soil and repot the plant. Here’s how.
- Protect the area where you are working. To protect your floor or work area, use a newspaper or an old cloth.
- Dispatch the plant from its container. If your plant is large, it might require two people to complete.
- With your hands, take out as much soil as you can. Be careful not to harm healthy roots.
- Using your sink’s sprayer, if possible, rinse away any leftover soil. This lessens additional root shock and enables the use of tepid water. Should this occur, take your plant outside and rinse the roots with a garden hose.
- Check the roots for any damage or discoloration. White or light brown, firm, and pliable roots are indicative of good health. It will be necessary to remove any roots that are mushy and soft, have turned black, or otherwise seem unhealthy.
- Any diseased roots should be removed with sterile clippers or a sharp knife. To prevent spreading the infection to other plants, be sure to sterilize the clippers after use.
- Put soil in a fresh planter. Fill it with fresh potting soil between one third and halfway.
- Spread the roots of your fiddle leaf fig across the soil as you place it there. When you’re done, your plant should be resting at the depth at which it was originally planted, with the crown level with the ground.
- Fill in the space around the roots with fresh soil to anchor the plant. To stabilize the plant, pack the soil tightly around the roots and pat it down with your hands to remove any air pockets.
- Water the soil. The idea is to moisten the soil without completely saturating it.
- Go back to where your fiddle leaf fig was before.
- Let the soil in the plant pot dry out before you water your plant again.
What Is Repotting Shock For Fiddle Leaf Figs?
Your fiddle leaf fig’s natural response to having its roots disturbed during repotting is shock. The leaves may be drooping to some degree. Your fiddle leaf fig should bounce back in a couple of days, though some leaves may even turn yellow and fall off the plant.
Do not alter the environment around your fiddle leaf fig at this time, including the temperature and humidity levels, moving the plant to a new location, or changing the environment’s other environmental factors. After being repotted, your plant needs time to adjust.
Your fiddle leaf fig may even stop producing new leaves as a result for a short period of time, but don’t worry, this will also pass.
How To Avoid Fiddle Leaf Fig Repotting Shock
Repotting shock will probably affect your fiddle leaf fig, but it should pass quickly. Your fiddle leaf fig can benefit from some assistance from you in order to lessen the effects of repotting shock.
- Put the plant where it was growing previously. You shouldn’t make any additional changes at this time, and if the rest of its environment stays the same, your fiddle leaf fig will adjust to being repotted more quickly.
- Make sure the plant has good drainage. Verify the new pot has enough drainage holes and that the saucers and catch basins beneath it have been emptied.
- Eliminate any leaves that have turned yellow. If your fiddle leaf fig has yellow leaves, pruning them helps to prevent your plant from expending unnecessary energy on dead or dying foliage and sends energy into new root formation.
My Fiddle Leaf Plant Can I Repot In The Winter?
If your fiddle leaf fig is actively growing, repotting is best. Repotting a fiddle leaf fig in the winter is therefore not advised unless it is absolutely necessary.
Your fiddle leaf fig works hard to recover from a season of active growth during the winter. Between fall and spring, new growth typically slows down.
Despite that, some reasons you may need to repot your fiddle leaf fig in the winter include:
- Treating diseases, like root rot in your fiddle leaf fig.
- Your plant has very tight root systems.
- Your pot’s soil needs to be replaced because it isn’t dripping properly.
Is Summer A Good Time To Repot My Fiddle Leaf?
You should repot your fiddle leaf fig in the spring and summer. Less root shock will occur, and it will recover more quickly, resulting in wholesome new growth.
The summer is a time of active growth for most plants, including the fiddle leaf fig. They are most active and best able to adapt to changes, including repotting, during this time.
Should I Water My Fiddle Leaf Fig After Repotting?
To thrive, fiddle leaf figs require consistently moist soil. That means that when you repot them, you should moisten the soil. Before you water the plant again, let the soil get just a little bit dry so that it feels dry 1 to 2 inches below the surface.
From there, be careful to follow the instructions on how frequently to water a fiddle leaf fig to prevent unintentional overwatering.
When After Repotting Should I Fertilize My Fiddle Leaf Fig?
It is best to wait a month or two after repotting before fertilizing your fiddle leaf fig plant in order to prevent root damage and lessen the signs of repotting shock.
Your Ficus’ roots are especially delicate right after repotting. If you fertilize your fiddle leaf fig too soon, you risk burning or harming the new roots, which will make it more challenging for your plant to recover from root shock.